American Border Patrol agents this past weekend set up a roadblock on I-93 South in Thornton, New Hampshire (more than 100 driving miles from the Canadian border) allegedly in search of immigration law violation.
This Fourth Amendment nullification zone had been set up on a route heading south from a long-planned New Hampshire Cannabis Freedom Festival in Lancaster, NH.
The federal agents arrested 25 people for immigration status irregularities. They arrested 46 in possession of illegal drugs.
This is just one more of the absurd injustices allowed by the Supreme Court's crummy 1976 Martinez-Fuerte decision that more or less gave Border Patrol agent checkpoints carte blanche to pretend the Fourth Amendment doesn't exist. Reason has long been decrying and critiquing that decision and the constant and ongoing rights-violations that inevitably follow.
The Union-Leader from New Hampshire has many more details on the checkpoint, including that "the cumulative amount of marijuana seized totaled two pounds. Police seized smaller amounts of cocaine, psilocybin mushrooms and hash oil."
This was the first such Border Patrol checkpoint in the state since July 2012. Details from the Union-Leader on the immigration arrests: "Fourteen were from Columbia and had overstayed their visas. Other illegal immigrants were from Colombia, Brazil, Ecuador and Mexico…"
Although the Border Patrol agents have the absurd pass on unwarranted searches, local police took part in the action with agents from Woodstock, who "handled arrests for state law violations, nearly all of which involved drug possession or drug transportation."
Here's how that worked: "federal agents used three dogs and walked them alongside cars as they waited in the checkpoint. If the dog signaled the possible presence of drugs, the driver was asked to park. Occupants of the car exited the car, and a dog went through the interior….Border patrol agents would locate the drugs, field-test them, weigh them, and then turn them over to Woodstock police."
Woodstock Police Chief Ryan Oleson spelled it out to the Union-Leader. He:
said border patrol agents have "a lot more leeway," and he could not use a dog to search a car unless he has a suspicion of drug possession that he can articulate. He said no arrests were made for driving under the influence of drugs.
Reason TV profiled and reported on American heroes who document and critique these border patrol practices back in 2013: